15 July 2013
Scott Dixon celebrates a double top in Toronto
At the front, the question now was whether Dixon would be able to avoid being mugged by the Penske pair at the restart, which came on lap 71: everyone made it through turn 1 without issue, Dixon maintaining the lead over Castroneves but Power was shuffled back behind Hunter-Reay and Bourdais which put him right in the sights of his arch nemesis Franchitti. Power put some space between him and the Scot by re-passing Bourdais who was struggling with badly blistered hands as a result of the weekend's back-to-back racing.
The man most struggling for pace was Hunter-Reay who quickly fell back to fifth place, but before Franchitti could make a move on him the circuit was back under a full course caution on lap 8 when Ed Carpenter followed in Jakes tyre marks straight into the wall on the exit of turn 5. That set up a final double file restart with two laps to go, and this time it was no holds barred at the front with Bourdais decisively sweeping around the outside of Power to secure third place.
Power could do nothing about that, and he couldn't see Hunter-Reay attempting to follow Bourdais through on the outside line. Hunter-Reay tried to back off but it was too late, and there was contact: both cars made heavy contact with the wall, and the Back of the Andretti Autosport #1 got run into by the unfortunate Takuma Sato for good measure, the AJ Foyt Racing #14 simply running out of room and left with no where to go except to the scene of the accident.
"Will was coming out from the bottom, I had a good run going on the outside, I was right next to him and he just - he was sliding across the patch," said Hunter-Reay afterwards. "I talked to him, and he just said he got loose on the bottom and he just drove right up into us. There's two lanes going through [the first turn], everybody kind of respects that.
"I don't think he drove into me on purpose, but we were taken out of the race," he sighed. "We had a good day going and had a decent car. We hung on today; that's what I was doing. I think we had a chance at a podium, maybe a fourth."
Power was similarly deflated by how the day had ended:" It was a disappointing end for the Verizon team. We worked so hard all day and had a good run throughout most of the race, then for it to come to an end like it did on the last restart is such a heartbreaker," he said. "We will just look ahead and work for a better result at Mid-Ohio."
And poor Sato was just ruing being in the wrong place at the wrong time through no fault of his own: "I went to Turn 1 very clean on the outside, and a lot of cars in front and on the side and I was boxed in. There was a concertina effect, and I was hit and there was nowhere to go. Very unfortunate," he said, adding "It was a lot of work for a very disappointing result in the end."
That put the race back under caution once more, and with no time left to clear the wrecked cars it meant that the race was decided: Scott Dixon had maintained his lead through the final two restarts and had pulled off a landmark double win in the Honda Indy Toronto, making him the most successful current active driver with 32 wins to his name. The fact that Sunday's win came with a bonus $100,000 SONAX Perfect Finish Award for achieving the sweep was just icing on the Kiwi's cake as he celebrated on the podium for the second time in 24 hours.
Helio Castroneves claimed second place and Bourdais battled through to a second consecutive podium position of the weekend, a stunning achievement for the Dragon Racing team which had come into this week's event with very low expectations after a dismal season to date, and especially since his push-to-pass had malfunctioned during the race.
"It was really hard, and it was from seventh place," said Bourdais. "I thought I was a sitting duck. Things just turned our way. I had a really good car on the restart. I was hooked up. I knew as soon as Ryan passed me, I had to get him back. I went for it, and it worked out."
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